Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Aquamanile in the Form of a Rooster

Date:
13th century
Geography:
Made in Lower Saxony, Germany
Culture:
German
Medium:
Copper alloy
Dimensions:
Overall: 9 15/16 x 9 9/16 x 3 9/16 in., 3.567lb. (25.2 x 24.3 x 9 cm, 1618g) Overall PD: 9 15/16 x 4 1/8 x 9 3/4 in. (25.2 x 10.5 x 24.7 cm) Thickness PD: 7/100-9/100 in. (0.18-0.24 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Copper alloy
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1989
Accession Number:
1989.292
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 10
A carefully observed, naturalistic sculpture in the round, this vessel, like a slightly earlier dragon aquamanile (acc. no. 47.101.51) in the collection, was cast using the lost wax process. Surface details were then skillfully engraved in the cold metal. The ewer was filled through a covered hole hidden between the rows of tail feathers, and water was poured out through the bird's open beak. Although the cock is not without religious significance (most notably in the story of Saint Peter's denial of Jesus), it seems most likely that this aquamanile served a secular function. The cock was a popular character in such twelfth-century literature as the tale of Renart the Fox and is perhaps best known today from Chanticleer, the rooster in Chaucer's fourteenth century "The Nun's Priest's Tale."
[ Walter Randel, Paris and New York (sold 1989)]
New York. Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture. "Lions, Dragons, and Other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages. Vessels for Church and Table," July 12, 2006–October 15, 2006.

Clark, William W., and Charles T. Little. "Notable Recent Acquisitions, Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters, New York." Gesta 29. no. 2 (1990). p. 239, fig. 1.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1989-1990." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 48, no. 2 (Fall 1990). pp. 20-21.

Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 136, pp. 114–15.

Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 72, pp. 108, 196.

Norris, Michael. Medieval Art: A Resource for Educators. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 27, pp. 108-11.

Barnet, Peter, and Pete Dandridge, ed. Lions, Dragons, & Other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages, Vessels for Church and Table. New York: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, 2006. no. 12, pp. 110-113.

Dandridge, Pete. "Exquisite Objects, Prodigious Technique: Aquamanilia, Vessels of the Middle Ages." In Lions, Dragons, & Other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages, Vessels for Church and Table, edited by Peter Barnet, and Pete Dandridge. New York: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, 2006. no. 12, pp. 48-50, 54-56; p. 42, no. 35, fig. 3-16, Appears in Table 1 of chapter.

Dandridge, Pete. "Gegossene Phantasien: Mittelalterliche Aquamanilien und ihre Herstellung." In Bild und Bestie: Hildesheimer Bronzen der Stauferzeit, edited by Michael Brandt. Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 2008. pp. 93-96; p. 93, no. 74; p. 94, no. 77, p. 96, no. 88.

Evans, Helen C., ed. The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions – Online Catalogue. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008.

Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. 75th Anniversary ed. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 112.

Mende, Ursula. Die mittelalterlichen Bronzen im Germanischen Nationalmuseum: Bestandskatalog. Nuremberg: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, 2013. pp. 189-190, fig. 218.



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